COLUMNS

Live (on accident) from my living room couch

Staff Writer
Stephenville Empire-Tribune
Sara Vanden Berge

It’s no secret that I have had my share of social media blunders.

A few years ago I thought I would use my stealth undercover skills to spy on my oldest son who was in college at Texas A&M at the time. Of course, there was a girl involved and I thought it would be a good idea to stalk her Twitter feed hoping it might give me a hint about what my son was up to.

It wasn’t.

I inadvertently hit the “follow” button and before I realized it, The Girl had contacted my son to tell him that @ETEditor was on her tail.

I was busted.

Within 10 minutes my son sent me a text that simply stated: “If you are going to creep on my friends, don’t follow them. Moron.”

That was the first time one of my kids called me a moron, and frankly, I didn’t love it.

Over the years, there have been similar incidents involving my other children and a slew of their friends.

I once accidentally followed my daughter’s now ex-boyfriend on Twitter and that earned me a loud scream and a door slam.

Fast forward to last week and my social media problems were obvious once again, this time with a major Facebook blooper.

It’s hard to make a mistake on Facebook. After all, that’s the social media site even us old folks have mastered.

Except, apparently, me.

Last Wednesday, The Husband and I were curled up on the couch watching the premiere of Survivor. During commercial breaks I would scroll through Facebook to make sure I wasn’t missing anything important like a recipe or new political conspiracy. Then I would toss my phone back onto my lap when the commercials were over.

Suddenly I heard a strange sound coming from my phone.

I glanced down at the screen and noticed that it was in camera mode.

Seconds later it started to ring, but I silenced it because, well, Survivor was on.

(Sorry Mailyn, I planned to call you back at the next commercial break.)

The next thing I heard was a familiar ding.

A text from Mailyn read: “Do you realize you are live on Facebook?!”

I screamed.

Then this from her husband David: “You are live on Facebook!”

I screamed again.

I didn’t know how to stop being live on Facebook because I had no idea how I had gotten there to begin with.

I fumbled around until I disconnected and started to hyperventilate.

What had I just shown the world?

Turns out I blasted a 45-second shot of my leg comfortably propped up on a stack of pillows. The fuzzy video didn’t show much (thank goodness) but it was enough to freak me out completely, and earn me a whole lot of teasing from friends.

My phone dinged for the remainder of the night with gems like this: “Live on Facebook from Sara’s back pocket!” (Thanks Entee.)

And the jabs keep coming.

The incident taught me that in a world of insta-everything even a night on the couch can turn ugly.

From now on I will watch Survivor with my phone safely placed on the coffee table.

And when Mailyn calls, I will always answer.

Sara Vanden Berge is the managing editor of the E-T. She can be reached at svandenberge@empiretribune.com. Follow her on Twitter @ETEditor.